Eye-gazing is  a thing  in Tantra

If you’ve ever been to a Tantra workshop, then I’m willing to bet just about anything that you’ve been asked to eye-gaze with a partner. We love eye-gazing in Tantra. Even though it’s intense and can be pretty uncomfortable, especially with a stranger, it remains a staple of Tantra classes.

What eye-gazing does for us:

So there’s got to be a reason, right?, why we Tantra folks keep subjecting you to eye-gazing. It turns out eye-gazing does a number of important things for us:

1. Increased Intimacy

Eye-gazing brings us into direct connection with another person. Intimacy is all about seeing another and being seen by another. You may remember this endearing Youtube video from a few years ago that illustrates the intimacy-enhancing effects of eye-gazing.
In fact, the retinas of our eyes are considered part of our Central Nervous System and are comprised of brain matter. When we look into each other’s eyes we’re literally connecting our brains together.

2. Present-moment experience

We normally live our lives either planning for the future or ruminating about the past. When we begin eye-gazing, our focus and attention are drawn right into the present moment. We become totally engaged in the here and now together with our partner.

3. Ego diminishing

Eye-gazing has an additional, quite powerful, benefit of bypassing the ego. When we connect in this way, discursive thought (ie, the voice constantly talking in our heads) quiets down and our normal cognitive state of consciousness disengages while our limbic system revs up. The limbic system is our social and emotional center. It’s shared by all mammals but is especially important for humans – we’re the world’s most social mammal.
It’s not uncommon for eye-gazing to bring us into connection with a bunch of emotions that have been lingering in the background of our awareness. Sometimes just a few seconds of eye-gazing will bring us to tears.
Any practice that suppresses our normal egoic state of consciousness is especially exciting for Tantra (and other spiritual traditions concerned with awakening). Our ego manages our experience and keeps a safety buffer around what we’re able to take in, so diminishing the volume on our ego expands the possible range and intensity of experience in the present moment.
Ultimately, we want to dis-identify with our small egos and to tune into our divine nature or higher self, which in Tantra is consciousness. Eye-gazing is a tool for opening to consciousness.

Basic eye-gazing practice

This simple 5-minute practice can be done with your friend, lover, or any nice stranger on BART 🙂
  1. Sit across from your partner and close your eyes
  2. Breathe deeply and come to center. Feel into your heart space
  3. Open your eyes and look from your left eye into your partner’s left eye
  4. Synchronize your inhales and exhales with your partner
  5. With each breath, try to relax and open – if you need to close your eyes, go ahead
  6. After 5 minutes close your eyes and spend a minute noticing how you’re feeling

Eye-gazing is a powerful experience and with regular practice it will take you deeper and deeper. It’s one of my favorite ways to connect with people and I’m continually amazed by how effectively and quickly I can drop-in. I hope you’ll find deeper connection through this simple practice. Here’s a quote from OSHO:

“Sit and look into each other’s eyes. Look deeper and deeper, without thinking….

“If you don’t think, if you just stare into the eyes, soon the waves will disappear and the ocean will be revealed…. If you can look deep down into the eyes, you will feel that the man has disappeared, the person has disappeared. Some oceanic phenomenon is hidden behind, and this person was just a waving of a depth, a wave of something unknown, hidden.

“Soon you will become aware of an ocean all around. Then you will see that you are also just a wave; your ego is just a wave.

“Behind that ego, the nameless, the one, is hidden. Only waves are born, the ocean remains the same. The many are born, the one remains the same.”

Much love,
Matt (& Leslie)

P.S. – Next week I’ll be sharing Part II: 4 advanced eye-gazing practices.
By | 2017-10-23T17:59:00+00:00 October 18th, 2017|eye-gazing|0 Comments

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